I hope. Or I totally failed it, that’s the feeling I have right now, either totally owned it or totally got owned.
It’s a bit funny sometimes, by many peoples definition I am currently a ‘professional student’, but, I am much more likely to be found leading a seminar than attending one, I supervise students and only see my supervisors every 7 weeks, attend one class (German) and worry more about writing articles and grants than passing, failing, or studying. Some people have some strange ideas about what we do during a PhD, but I guess there are a lot of differences between subjects and countries. As a biologist of some denomination, and living in Switzerland, I am actually considered an employee and not a student anymore, but that’s a bit of a funny distinction.
Anyway, considering how many years I have spent as a ‘real’ student, you would think that I would be really super awesome at this whole studying long hours and making crazy notes and, you know, not sleeping through lectures…. honestly I have no idea how I did it all! Four hours in a conference and not only am I comatose, but I have pulled muscles left right and center from sitting in those damn chairs all day. Study notes and homework time? Puh-lease I am proud when I hammer through my German more than one day before the course. Which I am sure is fairly counter productive seeing how I am taking the course because I really do want to speak German, I just hate learning it. I live in Zurich, which is German speaking, in case anyone is wondering why German occupies so much of my time… anyway.. next week you will either see an upswing in the mood of the posts if I pass, or a huge crash if I get a zero :-).
Some photos coming up in the next post about bouldering, but we were climbing on Sunday, and it went really super well. This was the first time after my lead climbing course, and it all went so smoothly. I noticed a difference even when I was top roping to warm up, more considering, more thoughtful, more calculating, but not in an overly mental way. Just each foot placement was considered, I looked at my feet more, I thought about my weight, my hands, my center of balance. I frequently thought ‘ Oh, see, you couldn’t even fall here unless you tried’. And the same just smoothly carried over into the leading. It was considered, it was deliberate. I placed my feet on good holds, I was smooth and confident. I shook out my hands when I had the chanced and didn’t get pumped, I clipped all the carabiners fine, and even the funky odd safety ones at the top that look like they should have two hands to do it but really only need one. These were still in my comfort zone, 4c is now my hardest, which I think is actually UK system (I need to check into this before I go climbing outdoors in France in June), which is a solid 5.9 for you Americans, and it was all stress free. I was really proud. The only ones I top ropped were higher, we are talking 5a-b-c so 5.10-11c range, but despite noticing they took a lot more power, it was still the same, smooth, comfortable, solid. Apparently my comfort zone is getting higher.
To be fair, I didn’t take any falls Sunday, and I should have. I ended on an overhanging 4c, after a 18m overhanging 5b and I just didn’t have enough power to get the last two clips. I downclimbed about half a meter which realistically would have been beneficial to jump down, but my heart just wasn’t in it. But all in all, an awesome climbing session. German boy was extremely pleased with his climbing too. We have both signed up for some workshops in June, which deserve their own post, and have set goals we need to accomplish by then, so we both metaphorically have lit a fire under our own butts, and this is good!